Cork-based medical R&D company Gasgon Medical has raised € 2.25 million in seed funding to accelerate its growth.
This is the first fundraise for the company, which aims to improve the performance of intravenous (IV) therapy with enhanced safety for both patients and clinical practitioners.
This seed round investment is led by Dublin VC firm, DBIC Ventures, with co-investment from Enterprise Ireland, syndicates IRRUS and HBAN (both MedTech and Boole), and international backing from syndicates in EU (Additio Investment Group, Spain) and private individuals in the US, including industry experts such as the former VP of R&D at Medtronic, Cliff Emmons.
This funding round comes on top of the company’s success in winning a € 3 million Fast Track to Innovation grant from the EIC in December of last year. Gasgon Medical was also awarded the Seedcorn top prize of € 100,000 in 2021, being crowned ‘Best New Start’ business at the national event.
Chief executive and founder Vincent Forde said: “The funding will give us the ability to grow our team as we move towards bringing our product to market. Our priority is in accelerating development work to attain regulatory approval, to be ready to launch products into hospitals, with an initial focus in the US. ”
The money will also be used for marketing and expanding into new markets, which includes veterinary and human use.
The Cork-headquartered company currently employs six people, and has plans to see the team grow again with hires in Ireland and the US planned with this new round of funding.
Gasgon’s AirVault product, which is a novel device to control the action of bubbles without disrupting the flow of time-sensitive drugs, offers increased safety and performance for clinicians both in the hospital and beyond.
Harm due to Air-in-Line is a risk associated with IV infusion, the most commonly performed invasive therapy in healthcare. When air bubbles appear in the line an attending clinician must make a decision on how to safely remove the air, with increasing risks whenever the line is opened. One major risk is infection to the patient, while nurses can be harmed by exposure to the IV fluids, which can include hazardous drugs such as antibiotics, chemotherapy or blood.
Forde added: “The resources required to track and eliminate air from IVs is a constant drain for nurses and health systems. “Typically an alarm system alerts the nurse or patient to the presence of air, but there is still this manual approach to removing the bubble. Nurses complain mostly about alarm fatigue and the disruption to workflows, especially at night when resources are low and patient’s sleep is affected. We provide a simple solution that removes the air proactively, before it causes an issue, to improve the drug delivery schedule and reduce the workload for nurses. ”
The reaction to patent-pending technology has been unanimously accepted as a “no-brainer” by many professionals in the healthcare field. Gasgon Medical has signed trial plans with hospitals in Spain and Portugal, with additional hospitals in the US and Ireland working with the company to accelerate development.
There is also an agreement in place with a veterinary hospital in Sweden, offering additional market opportunities for the new technology.
Richard Watson, managing partner of DBIC Ventures said: “We first engaged with Gasgon in early 2020 and have been extremely impressed with the management team and their progress over the past two years leading up to this investment round.
“The AirVault device addresses a significant clinical need, which has been validated through very strong buy-in from clinicians and potential commercial partners in Europe and the US. We are excited to be investment partners with the company looking forward to working closely with the management team and board in bringing the product to market and scaling internationally. ”